SPORTIME employees are committed to providing our members with the finest athletic and social settings, and the very best programs, instruction and amenities for tennis, sports, camps, health and fitness. We pride ourselves in our high degree of hospitality, integrity, social awareness and attention to detail. We strive to achieve operational excellence and to provide our members with intimate, welcoming and comfortable environments. We take great pride in our facilities.
As our communities react to the global health crisis caused by COVID-19, our focus remains supporting the health and wellbeing of our employees, members and customers. The following guidelines will be implemented (and in the case of those sites currently operational, have been implemented) across all SPORTIME facilities and will be updated on an ongoing basis, as we receive new information and directives from governmental and other health agencies and organizations, and based on our experience navigating this “new normal”. While some might view certain protocols as overly cautious, SPORTIME may choose to maintain them, in spite of prevailing guidance, if they make our members, customers or staff feel safer and more comfortable.
Notwithstanding all the precautions that SPORTIME will take, due to the nature of the virus, the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains, as we are all aware. Please be safe, respect others and follow all of the precautions, protections and protocols put in place during this COVID-19 epidemic.
An abundance of hand sanitizer and sanitizing supplies (spray bottles and paper towels, or wipes if available) have been stocked, and will be readily available on all tennis courts and in all playing areas, and in facility lobbies, fitness areas, locker rooms, offices and common areas.
Intensified cleaning of SPORTIME facilities will take place throughout each day, and overnight, with additional, dedicated cleaning during operating hours. Whenever possible, there will be full-time cleaning staff stationed in gyms. with the goal of disinfecting fitness equipment between users, and in other high-traffic club areas, including locker rooms, during peak-use periods.
Water coolers will be removed from all tennis courts and playing areas when a safer source of potable water can be engineered, so as to avoid unnecessary communal or surface contact. Water fountains will be taken out of service, and non-contact bottle fillers will be provided in their place wherever possible. Players will be encouraged to utilize personal water bottles or to bring bottled water. Where water coolers remain, conical cups will be eliminated and hand sanitizer and disinfection supplies will be located adjacent to all such devices. Players will be required to sanitize their hands before touching any water supply device. Social distancing guidelines and markers will be placed at all water supply areas.
All SPORTIME facilities will have protective Plexiglass barriers installed at reception desks and other customer-service counters, to create safer communication between members and staff, and to allow for transactions with reduced potential for airborne transmission.
Towels will be available at some SPORTIME locations, but will not be self-service, and will be kept behind reception desks, having been laundered and folded following all sanitary protocols. Only hand towels will be provided, as showering and changing in locker rooms will be prohibited until further notice.
Members in need of demo tennis rackets will borrow them from and return them to either their site’s pro shop or reception desk (as applicable); no self-service. All demo rackets will be sanitized before and after each use.
While the most recent CDC guidance appears to indicate that transmission of the virus from surfaces is unlikely, we recommend that players who are playing on open court-time, seasonal court time, walk-on time or any other court-time, league, tournament or play situation, either provide their own can(s) of tennis balls or purchase new balls at the pro shop or reception desk. SPORTIME suggests that players mark and utilize their own can(s) of balls, to avoid ball sharing among partners, in singles or doubles play. There shall be no sharing or borrowing of teaching balls for recreational play. Signs will be posted to this effect and all teaching carts will be locked when not in use by coaches. When coaches finish using courts for private lessons or programs, they will ensure that no balls remain, including behind curtains, or are otherwise available to be touched by on-coming players.
SPORTIME staff and members/players/students/campers will be required to wear protective face “masks”, covering their mouths and noses, whenever entering or exiting SPORTIME facilities, and within our clubs at all times when adequate physical/social distancing cannot be achieved. Washable and reusable SPORTIME branded face coverings in two styles (mask and neck gaiter) will be supplied to staff members and to all junior program participants and campers. Coaches and junior players/campers will be required to wear the gaiter style coverings, to assure that they can be easily deployed at all times.
Staff, coaches and members/players/students/campers will have easy access to ample supplies of hand sanitizer and sanitizing supplies (spray bottles and paper towels, or wipes if available), which will be available on all tennis courts and in playing areas, fitness areas and facility lobbies, locker rooms, offices and common areas. Coaches will use these products to sanitize their hands and to sanitize equipment, such as ball carts, ball hoppers, rackets and benches, to ensure their safety and that of their clients.
Body Temperature screenings have been implemented for staff and are anticipated for members/customers/campers, and may be required. Sufficient inventory of point and shoot thermometers have been purchased and stocked. Plans are under way for these screenings to be accomplished at high traffic times, including camp and program drop off and pick-up, to manage congestion and to allow for quarantine, including possibly screening arrivals when members/campers/players are still in their cars. An isolation and reporting protocol will be established in the event that any employee/player/camper exhibits symptoms while at a SPORTIME club.
All SPORTIME staff members, including all full-time and part-time employees, and all coaches and counselors, will undergo a rigorous training on all Covid-19 related protocols and standard operating procedures prior to the reopening of any SPORTIME Club.
All other local, state, federal and other governmental mandates, protocols and directives will be followed to ensure the safety of all SPORTIME staff members and customers.
All on-court/field/rink activities will be adjusted to follow new curriculum/safety guidelines, designed to ensure proper physical/social distancing between players/campers and between players/campers and coaches/counselors. Procedures, along with new drills and activity suggestions, will be updated and distributed to, and discussed with, all tennis and sports Directors, and with all site Leaders, whose job it will be to train staff on the protocols, to assure their proper implementation, and to communicate them to members/participants.
We are developing detailed, on-court protocols, for all group tennis and sports programming, including for our youngest participants. Drills and activities will include necessary physical distancing. Coaches will often utilize brightly colored, circular markers, cones, drop-down lines, and other tools to define areas and movement patterns. Markers will often be placed at designated locations on each court/field/rink, prior to the start of an activity/class, so that players know where to stand at the start of a session, prior to additional instructions being shared.
Use of all gyms and fitness training areas and equipment will be adjusted to follow new safety guidelines, including spacing of equipment, reduction in class and area capacity to ensure proper physical/social distancing, routine disinfection and more.
While the most recent CDC guidance appears to indicate that transmission of the virus from surfaces is unlikely, for the time being players will only use ball hoppers/baskets to pick up tennis balls during lesson programs, and should avoid touching teaching balls with their hands, other than as set forth below.. All hoppers/baskets will be routinely sanitized by coaches prior to each session, and each player will be assigned a specific and clearly marked (color coded) hopper/basket for their use only throughout the lesson to assist in picking up balls in between activities and at the conclusion of the class, or, in the alternative, coaches will disinfect hopper handles after each pick-up. After using the basket/hopper, players will then sanitize their hands, using sanitizing stations on the court, prior to returning to tennis activities. Different serving protocols have been created for group lessons and programs, and will be implemented based upon the specific characteristics of each group and program. If players choose to serve during a private lesson using teaching balls (for minors, parental permission required), they will be required to wear their protective face masks while doing so, and they will sanitize their hands prior to serving, and after serving, before their next activity and prior to removing their masks. Players may also bring their own balls to use for serving during private lessons.
Younger players and beginners will no longer have access to communal rackets. They will be required to bring their own rackets each day or to purchase their own rackets in one of our pro shops. When loaner rackets are needed, they will have been sanitized and safely stored and will be sanitized again after use.
At certain locations, for certain programs or classes, starting and ending times may be adjusted to create a break that can be used to assure safety and distancing when players/students are entering and exiting courts/fields/rinks. With younger players, coaches will carefully guide players off the court to each club’s designated pick-up/exit areas, and will welcome the next group onto the court, all the while enforcing distancing and face mask use. Face masks will be deployed by all at these times.
Many clubs may implement new entrance and exit areas, and other new traffic patterns, designed to alleviate large groups of players/parents forming, congregating or passing each other as classes end and new ones begin, and to assure adequate spacing at customer service areas.
Parents will be encouraged to drop off and pick up students, so as to avoid crowding and contact. Parents who choose to come into buildings to spectate will be required to wear protective face masks at all times while in SPORTIME buildings.